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macrumors 6502
Original poster
Sep 11, 2010
Boston, MA
I was just writing an extremely lengthy response to someone in Firefox on another forum. The forum has been having issues all day and I didn't think about copying the reply before I clicked submit. Well the website came up with an error and when I hit back the reply was gone. I seriously don't feel like retyping it all. Anyway, via terminal or whatever that I can get this reply back?



Staff member
Apr 2, 2008
I don't think your going to have much luck. I have never heard of a way this can be done.


macrumors 601
Sep 26, 2006
If you use Chrome, using back/forward in the browser keeps form entries. So if you had a reply in the reply box then accidentally clicked a bookmark or something, it'll all be here when you go back.


macrumors 68030
Jan 20, 2010
If I'm going to write a long reply, I usually try to write it up in Text Edit or something and then copy/paste it in. I've had too many issues with this before.


macrumors newbie
Jul 18, 2017
Los Angeles
this was 8 years ago, i reached it by googling how to save everything i type because a long inspired post got deleted by facebook today. i started using a mac in 1995 january, a quadra 605. it of course had a floppy drive, they all did then. My friend gave me a program he had called Now Utilities. It was a suite. The only one i used was Now Save. Now Save was elegant. In its settings you could tell it which applications you wanted it to save, i selected pretty much everything, the browser, the email program, Simple Text (the old Text Edit), Word. And it recorded every keystroke. If i backspaced to change something, the new version was the one saved. However i edited what i wrote, that would be saved, and there was a tab that brought up the saved documents. It saved me many times. The saved text was exactly like the document, nothing had to be edited, just copy and paste. Eventually with OS changes and hardware changes, i couldn't install Now Save anymore, i used it as long as i could. I couldn't imagine living without it. When i couldn't use it anymore, i googled (or whatever the search engine was then) 'keystroke saver" or something like that. i found an article in MacWorld magazine reviewing different examples of this kind of software. There were lots of them. I chose one or two, installed and picked one. Not as elegant as now save, clunkier, more awkward, not an exact replica of the document, but still, way better than losing the whole thing. The other one i installed gave you a copy of your document that had all you text, including what you backspaced over, plus it had weird characters like # @ & scattered all through it, it was a lot of work to edit it, but still better than losing the whole thing. I used that when the other one was discontinued. Some years had gone by and i googled the search terms again and there was a newer MacWorld article, reviewing the same kind of software again, with new programs. I got another one or two, they worked, never as easy or as good as Now Save but better than the previous ones. The last one of these i had and used for a long time was called BackTrack. It worked until Lion. I would have stayed with Snow Leopard forever (Rosetta, more versatility and functionality) but i finally got a new computer in late 2013, an MBP with Mountain Lion on it. No more rosetta, that condemned me to have to use Apple Mail, i don't know why they can't make a Mail program that is user friendly and straightforward, not your mother's Apple. And the other major loss was BackTrack. Since then, i can't find any more programs that do that. Periodically when i have a painful document loss, i google again, but no one seems to think that this is an important functionality to have. I have no tech knowledge but so given that, i don't see why typing couldn't be saved to the Cloud in documents chosen in iCloud preferences. But not only can i not find any programs that do that. I can't even find anyone who knows what they are or has ever heard of them. You can get key loggers which give you unintelligible short amounts of text to spy on kids and employees, that isn't something that would function as needed. At least not as far as i know or have been able to find out.

there must be a reason or reasons why nobody develops this functionality anymore. But i can't imagine what.


macrumors G5
Jul 30, 2003
Likely because similar functionality is native to the system, as long as an app supports versioning(?) (keeping documents as a sort-of autosave that you don't need to think about) Not all apps will provide support for that, but the system allows it.


macrumors newbie
Jul 18, 2017
Los Angeles
Likely because similar functionality is native to the system, as long as an app supports versioning(?) (keeping documents as a sort-of autosave that you don't need to think about) Not all apps will provide support for that, but the system allows it.

Thanks. that gives me hope and something to search for. When i was searching yesterday, i did find a link to an article about two browser extensions that do that, one for Firefox and one for Chrome. i didn't even read closely enough to see if it was just for Windows. i'm so adapted to Safari and don't enjoy using the other two, but it's something to think about. At this point, i will hope that something is developed for Safari and will google for it regularly.

There were a few links about how Facebook never deletes what you type, everything is saved, even if you delete it. Deleting your own post, Facebook internally calls "self-censoring." These were pretty bizarre articles. Facebook says it's against censorship, even by yourself, and the point was that because they're an ad supported site, they need all the user typing they can get to give to their advertisers to be run through algorithms so that they can know which ads to target you with, and if you delete something, you are deleting valuable information for marketers, etc. The only question i had, knowing it was a long shot, was "is there some way i can get my deleted text back from Facebook?" that was not addressed, so that pretty much answers the question. It's funny that they (their algorithms) would think i was censoring that long post because it was political commentary, pretty much not within normal opinion. Someone else might have (as they put it in the article) "thought better" of posting that sort of thing, but not me, i wanted to post it, i had almost finished proof reading it and my finger brushed over something on the page than caused it to go to another page. I have found that in Safari, hitting the back button has (recently) brought back the page with my text still on it, but not always, i haven't figured it out yet.


macrumors newbie
Jul 18, 2017
Los Angeles
i'm sure this is a dumb question but i have never been able to get an answer to it, probably because it's so dumb, it makes no sense to ask it.

i would like to try asking it here.

there is key logging software. From what i could find out, it's for the purpose of spying. In descriptions, i read that it logs every keystroke. But it isn't completely clear to me beyond all doubt that i couldn't use this to save all my keystrokes.

I googled a few versions of 'can i use key logger on myself to save documents?'

so that's my question. If i put a key logger on my computer and i lost a document on the internet, or in some other way that can happen, would a keylogger be logging all my keystrokes so that a copy of my document would be saved?

My impression is that this kind of software only is useful for short amounts of text like passwords, and messaging, but it wouldn't save several paragraphs. When i googled this, no answers addressed the question. They answered other expected questions like "can i install this myself" and less related links.
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